I started working for Dementia Matters in November 2011, as a Care and Support Assistant. Prior to this I studied Psychology at Newcastle University. Following this I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do but knew I wanted to do something to help people. So I decided a care role would be a good place to get some experience and find out where I wanted to progress with my career.

For my first role started working in the Bradbury Day Centre and I absolutely loved it. It was such a rewarding job, I felt I could make a difference to the people I was supporting and knew this was the job for me. I was then promoted to Senior Support Worker, where I took more responsibility for supporting people to access the service, care planning for people coming in to day service and arranging transport to and from the centre. During this time I also worked in the newly opened respite centre supporting people with short breaks and in their transition moving into residential care or our Supported Living Houses.

A short time after I was given to opportunity to become a Trainee Specialist Worker to work towards managing the Bradbury Day Service. This was something I was delighted to be given and was privileged to be given this opportunity. This was really exciting, and I was able to understand more about how the organisation operated, the commissioning process behind day service and become more involved in developing the service.

Following this role I returned from Maternity leave and was given the opportunity to take a Best Practice Specialist Worker role and take the lead on our Early Intervention Project. At the time this was a new role but again gave me great opportunity to develop and set up a brand new service from the beginning. This gave me great knowledge and understanding into the whole organisation and understand more about the support given outside of Dementia Matters. Setting up the project which was providing advice, information and support throughout a person’s journey with dementia, also looking at what assistive technology was beneficial for people with Dementia. This was a fantastic opportunity with the support of Comic Relief funding, this project is now going from strength to strength now under the support of our Admiral Nurses.

Another part of this role was supporting the teams and ensuring that we were following ‘best practice’ guidelines and supporting with evidencing our actions for our commissions and inspectors when they visit. Alongside this I looked into Impact Management which focused on understanding the data we collect and the importance of why we collect this data to develop the services we provide. For example looking at why we focus on continuity of care, how raise safeguarding concerns and act on them and do we provide good quality of care.

Through this role, I am now carrying out a PhD with Leeds Beckett University, supported by Dementia Matters. I am very lucky and grateful for their support. MY PhD will focus on the Tovertafel, and I am looking into the impact this fantastic piece of technology has for people with dementia and how best can this be implemented in care facilities.

I am now Quality Manager for Dementia Matters, which is new role to the organisation but I am thrilled to be in this position. I am responsible for checking the quality of all of the services and support we provide, ensuring that we meet the high standards we set and continually improve the care and support we provide here at Dementia Matters. I support all of the teams and we work closely together to ensure that everyone receives the best possible quality of care.